Committee Chair

Officer Resources Index

As the chair of a TLA committee, you have accepted a leadership position within the Texas Library Association. With this position come certain responsibilities to ensure the work of the Association in promoting Texas libraries.

As a committee chair, you are expected to stay in contact with your committee members, as well as your assigned Executive Board liaison and the TLA Office. You are also responsible for delegating the work of the committee to the members, making sure committee members have what they need to complete assignments, and following through with committee members to ensure assignments are completed.

Listed are ways to accomplish your charge and assist you in chairing a TLA committee:

  • Charge and Work Program:
  • Contact the past chair of your committee to determine status of work program and outstanding projects. Retrieve files (TLA will reimburse any shipping costs.)
  • Study committee goals and any special instructions from the Executive Board, determine and execute a plan of action, and cooperate with TLA units and the TLA Office in accomplishing goals.
  • Review TLA Bylaws for Association policies and charges to all committees. Contact the TLA Office if interpretations are needed.
  • Evaluate committee’s website for inclusiveness and currency and determine what content needs to be added. TLA web guidelines for committees and units are on the TLA website.
  • Participate in the TLA strategic planning process by focusing outcomes on goals and objectives in the plan.
  1. Attend the Incoming Officers’ Briefing at Annual Conference.
  2. Download and read the materials from the Incoming Officers Briefing section of the TLA website 
  3. Meet all deadlines set for Chairs by the Executive Board, TLA Office, Council, Chairs of other TLA Committees (e.g., Publications), or Texas Library Journal editor.
  4. Schedule, prepare agenda, conduct and maintain records of all meetings. Meetings should be scheduled during Annual Conference, Annual Assembly, and at other times deemed necessary by the Chair. Instant minutes of each meeting must be sent to the Executive Director within 24 hours, followed by comprehensive minutes within two weeks of the meeting. See Instant Minute Form.
  5. Maintain close communication with the Executive Board liaison to convey committee concerns to the Executive Board.
  6. Request meeting space for committee meetings during Annual Conference and Annual Assembly. The Annual Assembly Meeting Request Form is on the TLA website.
  7. Attend all Council meetings and be prepared to report on Committee activities. Prior to each Council meeting, submit the progress report form to the TLA Office for distribution to the full Council. If you are not able to attend, appoint a representative from your committee.
  8. Report to the TLA Office all resignations and changes of contact information. Notify the TLA Office if there are committee members who should be replaced because they are absent from two consecutive meetings and are not contributing to the committee between meetings.
  9. Adhere to the TLA archives policies and procedures which are found on the TLA website.
  10. Prepare in consultation with the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee resolutions requiring the approval of Council to be represented as Association policy. Also communicate these resolutions to the Executive Board through your Executive Board liaison. Resolutions must be submitted to the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee six (6) hours in advance of a Council meeting. All resolutions not submitted in advance will require two-thirds vote of Council for consideration. On the TLA website you will find a document on working with the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee and a Council transmittal form for motions and resolutions.
  11. Transfer files to your successor at Annual Conference or immediately afterwards. (TLA will reimburse any shipping costs.)
  12. Obtain TLA letterhead and envelopes, if desired, at Annual Conference or Annual Assembly.
  13. Send copies of all major electronic and print correspondence to the TLA Office, including correspondence received by the Chair if it impinges on TLA as a whole.
  14. Obtain roster of committee members from the Members Only Section of the TLA website.

Conference Planning:

  1. Determine if your committee plans to sponsor a conference program.
  2. Sign up for a conference program time slot during Annual Assembly.
  3. Coordinate with the Conference Program Committee and the Program Committee liaison to focus on the conference theme and to avoid duplication of content.
  4. Make contact with speakers, agree on program goals and content, and negotiate honorarium and travel expenses, if any, within TLA policy and budget limits. Note that no personal expenses or honorarium shall be paid by TLA for TLA members and other Texas librarians presenting at Annual Conference, Annual Assembly, or District meetings with the exception of Executive Board members representing the Association at District meetings and TLA members and other Texas librarians who speak at District meetings other than their own. Conference and speaker forms are found in the members only section of the website.
  5. Be responsible for a conference program by setting objectives, securing speakers, defining the program scope, and completing necessary forms with the TLA Office to ensure inclusion in the preliminary and final printed programs. Attend the Conference Program Planning Training Session during Annual Assembly.
  6. Commit to meeting all program planning deadlines and to providing speakers with information they need to conduct an effective program. Assist with speaker travel and housing arrangements and with AV/handout/and other needs by documenting requirements on the various conference program forms provided by the TLA Office.

Financial Responsibilities:

  1. Prepare and submit a budget to the TLA Office by May 1; the budget form is available in the members only section of the website.
  2. Obtain prior authorization from the Executive Board for projected expenses not budgeted. All expenditures must be documented and invoices submitted to the TLA Office for reimbursement no later than June 1 of the year following the close of term of office. The reimbursement form is on the TLA website and more guidelines on TLA's reimbursement policy are contained in “How to Get Bills Paid.” 
  3. Monitor monthly financial reports of your committee by accessing the Members Only Section of the TLA website and report any corrections to the TLA Office.
  4. Submit to the TLA Executive Director for signature all contracts, speaker agreements, and other forms of obligations to be financially binding on the Association.
  5. Be aware that TLA will charge back to committees all costs associated with their conference programs and activities.
  6. Do not solicit vendors who exhibit at TLA conferences for any financial support without the approval of the Executive Director.
  1. By using the electronic discussion list established for you by TLA, contact your committee members and provide information about your plans and future meeting times, locations, etc. Ensure that everyone has a set of minutes from the last meeting and a copy of the official committee charge.
  2. Encourage attendance and participation by all committee members. Identify ways for committee members to participate when they are unable to attend Annual Conference or Annual Assembly.
  3. Identify and mentor emerging leaders within your committee and promote their continued involvement in TLA to Association officers.
  4. Prior to each meeting, remind committee members of the meeting time, location, and agenda.
  5. During the meeting, be sure to:
    1. Pass a sign-up sheet and request verification of name, address, telephone, and e-mail.
    2.  Distribute the agenda and pace the meeting so that all items can be covered.
    3. Assign roles as needed, i.e., minute taker.
    4. Explain duties – minute taker will record minutes for the meeting and prepare instant minutes for TLA (Have form available).
    5. Explain purpose of the meeting or the committee charge.
    6. Involve all members of the committee in discussion.
    7. Encourage committee members to continue their discussions and to file progress reports by using electronic technology, such as the committee’s electronic discussion list (listserv) that is automatically set up by the TLA Office for each committee.
    8. Assign sub-committees, if necessary, to complete charge, with realistic deadlines.
  1. After the meeting, ensure that comprehensive meeting minutes are sent to committee members, TLA Office, and the Executive Board Liaison.
  2. Maintain contact with committee members and follow through to ensure any delegated assignments are completed.

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Created on Apr 10, 2010 | Last updated April 14, 2010